Remembering Joseph Mueller, S.J.

Remembering Joseph Mueller, S.J.

BERKELEY, CA – January 13, 2023 – The Graduate Theological Union is deeply saddened to share news of the passing of Joseph Mueller, S.J., who served as Dean of Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. Fr. Mueller was also an esteemed member of the GTU’s Consortial Council and Board of Trustees, where he held a seat on the Academic Committee. Fr. Mueller remained passionately dedicated to his commitments in these roles until health concerns demanded that he take a leave in December 2022. He passed away after a battle with cancer on January 12, 2023. 

"I, along with the entire GTU community, will miss Fr. Mueller's wisdom; his unique perspective; his deep spirituality; and his dedication to our common enterprise,” said William D. Glenn, Chair of the GTU Board of Trustees. “As a former JST student, I have held a deep personal appreciation for Fr. Mueller’s work and have been grateful to also be able to call him a professional colleague and friend. As I mourn the loss of Fr. Mueller, I am reminded of a portion of a prayer written by theologian Thomas Merton: ‘I will trust You always. Though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and will never leave me to face my perils alone.’” 

Fr. Mueller joined the GTU in August 2020, when he assumed leadership of Santa Clara University’s Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley. During his tenure, he worked tirelessly to enhance the theological education and spiritual formation of JST’s entire community. He also recruited a cadre of noteworthy theologians whose scholarship will have a profound impact on the future of the Jesuit Church and obtained significant grants to enhance Latina/o theology and ministry.  

Prior to his arrival at SCU, Fr. Mueller was an associate professor of theology and an administrator at Marquette University for more than 20 years. During his tenure, he served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in Marquette University’s Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences and as Director of Graduate Studies and Assistant Chairman for the Department of Theology. In 2017, he was also named rector of Marquette University’s Jesuit Community. He represented the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for seven years on the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ. 

“Fr. Mueller was a kind and humble man whose thoughtful analysis, good humor, and wise counsel was of great benefit to the President’s Cabinet and the Provost’s Council,” said Julie Sullivan, SCU President. “We pray that Fr. Mueller finds rest in God’s loving embrace, and we offer our deepest condolences to the Jesuit Community and to his father, his eight siblings, and his eight step-siblings.” 

Details about memorial services honoring Fr. Mueller and his life can be found below:

Thursday, February 2, 2023
3:00–7:00 pm EST (Service at 7:00 pm)
Gesu Parish
17180 Oak Dr.
Detroit, MI 48221-3024

Mass of Christian Burial
Friday, February 3, 2023
10:00 am EST
Gesu Parish
17180 Oak Dr.
Detroit, MI 48221-3024

The Mass can be livestreamed at:

The Jesuit School of Theology will also be holding a Memorial Mass in Berkeley. 

Memorial Mass of Joseph Mueller, S.J.
Saturday, February 25, 2023
10:30 am PST
Saint Mary Magdalen Church
2005 Berryman Street
Berkeley, CA 94709

A simple reception will follow at the Jesuit School of Theology (1735 Le Roy Ave, Berkeley, CA).

Read Fr. Mueller's obituary published by the Midwest Province.